Who came to Ancient America first? Well the mystery has a new clue in the form of a Prehistoric Stone Age knife that was discovered by chance. And it belong to Ice Age Mariners Forty years ago, a Virginia scallop trawler named Cinmar hauled a mastodon tusk onto the deck and the crew watched in amazement as Prehistoric stone age knife dropped out of the net! It was a tapered stone blade that was nearly eight inches long and still razor sharp. The mastodon relic found in Chesapeake Bay turned out to be 22,000 years old, and that suggested to researchers that the blade was just as ancient. And that led to a new radical theory of who the first Americans were. It long been believed by archaeologists that North America remained unpopulated until about 15,000 years ago, when Siberian people walked or boated into Alaska and then moved down the West Coast. But the new blade places Stone Age Europeans in Delmarva 20,000 years ago, that means that whoever fashioned that blade probably paddled from Europe and arrived in America thousands of years ahead of the western migration, making them the first Americans, which is the conclusion that Smithsonian Institution anthropologist Dennis Stanford came up with.
Tom Dillehay, a prominent archaeologist at Vanderbilt University. ““I think it’s feasible. The evidence is building up, and it certainly warrants discussion.” The so called “Solutrean hypothesis” was coined in 1999. One prominent archaeologist suggested that both the men were destroying their careers and colleagues roundly rejected it.
And now 13 years later Professor Dennis Stanford from Washington’s Smithsonian Institution, and Professor Bruce Bradley from Exeter University Bruce Bradley, an archaeologist at England’s University of Exeter, lay out a detailed case — bolstered by the curious blade and other stone tools recently found in the mid-Atlantic — in a new book, “Across Atlantic Ice.”
Below is an excerpt:
Who were the first humans to inhabit North America? According to the now familiar story, mammal hunters entered the continent some 12,000 years ago via a land bridge that spanned the Bering Sea. Distinctive stone tools belonging to the Clovis culture established the presence of these early New World people. But are the Clovis tools Asian in origin? Drawing from original archaeological analysis, paleoclimatic research, and genetic studies, noted archaeologists Dennis J. Stanford and Bruce A. Bradley challenge the old narrative and, in the process, counter traditional—and often subjective—approaches to archaeological testing for historical relatedness. The authors apply rigorous scholarship to a hypothesis that places the technological antecedents of Clovis in Europe and posits that the first Americans crossed the Atlantic by boat and arrived earlier than previously thought.
“I drank the Solutrean Kool-Aid,” said Steve Black, an archaeologist at Texas State University in San Marcos. “I had been very dubious. It’s something a lot of [archaeologists] have dismissed out of hand. But I came away from the book feeling like it’s an extremely credible idea that needs to be taken seriously.”
Adding to the weight of evidence is fresh analysis of stone knife unearthed in the US in 1971 that revealed it was made of French flint. The authors now believe that the ancient Europeans travelled to North America across an Atlantic frozen over by the Ice Age. During the height of the Ice Age, ice covered some three million square miles of the North Atlantic, providing a solid bridge between the two continents. Plentiful numbers of seal, penguins, seabirds and the now extinct great auk on the edge of the ice shelf could have provided the stone-age nomads with enough food to sustain them on their 1,500-mile walk.